Arbitrage betting (these bets are also known as ‘spreads’) use a spread between odds set by different bookmakers. Combined odds reduce a bookie’s profit margin, which is the reason why bettors are actively using arbitrage betting to their advantage.
For arbitrage betting, you need to pick several bookmakers with low profit margins and the highest maximum limits for bets. The list of bookies with low profit margins include William Hill, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Bwin, Bet Victor, and PinnacleSports.
Arbitrage betting is possible due to bookmakers’ different opinions about certain teams or athletes. If there is any uncertainty about the upcoming sports event, the difference between profit margins set by different bookies is growing. Simply put, bookmakers estimate the odds differently. This difference gave rise to arbitrage betting that allows bettors to win regardless of the outcome.
Example of arbitrage betting
Here is an example explaining how arbitrage betting works. The table below contains the odds set by two different bookmakers for an upcoming tennis match between Player 1 and Player 2.
Odds by Bookmaker А
Odds by Bookmaker B
Arbitrage betting (spread)
95.9 % (your profit is 4.1%)
Comparing the odds for Outcome 2 by Bookmaker A and the odds for Outcome 2 by Bookmaker B, the bettor can get a guaranteed profit of 4.1% (100 – 95.9 = 4.1).
This model works for any types of bets, including spread betting. Allowing to buy and sell bets under constantly changing circumstances, live betting offers multiple opportunities for arbitrage betting.
Arbitrage betting: possible pitfalls
Just like any other type of bets, arbitrage betting has its drawbacks.
Limited size of bets and account freeze
Many bookmakers are trying to cut down the opportunities for arbitrage betting. Make sure to inquire about the maximum sizes of bets in advance. Some bookmakers go even further and freeze the accounts of particularly lucky bettors.
Bookmakers may cancel a bet that contained mistakes, which may cut down your arbitrage betting opportunities. You risk losing your profits earned over a long period of time.
To make the most of arbitrage betting, you need to have multiple accounts with various bookmakers and plenty of time. First, this requires a lot of effort. Second, it leads to high operational costs. This scenario is only suitable for those willing to make arbitrage betting their full-time career.
Lack of stability and trust
As bookmakers are constantly changing the odds, the interval for arbitrage betting may get reduced down to 15 minutes. Prepare for fast decision-making under stress. When pressed for time, people tend to make mistakes. To minimize risks, you can use special arbitrage betting software that can be rather costly.
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Arbitrage betting: best sports betting strategy
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Arbitrage betting is about the only truly profitable betting strategy that allows bettors to beat bookmakers
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